Tag Archives: bird

A Girl and Her Bird, Acrylic and Ink

Danielle and Sinbad
6″ x 6′ Acrylics, ink and gel pen on gessobord

Challenge Day 27! Another experiment on smooth gessobord. The bright crazy background is my new Golden C.P. Cadmium Orange. (I think the CP stands for cadmium pigment.) I was going to add some ink design to it but once again, it’s time for bed.

Hey look, it’s another fancy hat! (I wonder if it’s the influence of free Project Runway reruns playing on Hulu in the background.) I try to vary the eyes so I’m not doing the same face all the time, but I need lots more work on noses and mouths.

Also! This is maiden number 149.

Finally decided I will definitely join the 29 Faces Challenge which conveniently starts immediately after the 30-day challenge. It’s funny how many people doing the 30-day challenge seem sad it is ending soon!

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30 Days Challenge Day 2

Sherman Shoebill
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

Day two of Thirty Paintings in 30 Days and I am still snowed in (Chicago area). I prefer not to complain because I get to stay home from work. But I am not looking forward to moving my car to the other side of the street this evening.

But the other thing about being snowed in – still no paints! I know that this challenge doesn’t require painting specifically, but it still has paint in the title and I intend to do it.

In the meantime, I did extra scans during the coloring process for this one and the dog below, both finished today. I use a lot of layers with the alcohol-based markers, and often it does give a nice painterly effect. I’m hoping this will give me a head start when I actually start painting.

Stewart Lodwick
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

Thanks so much to all the 30 Day Challenge visitors! It is always my intention to visit any commenters back, but some of you do not have a comment system I am able to use. Or no comment system at all!

And one more note! Subscribers, I will be doing a new post daily for the 30-Day challenge, but I will not be emailing every day. Probably every third day or so, so as not to inundate your inbox. Thank you!

(Final final note, these are both going in my shop.)

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A New Challenge for the New Year

Happy 2014 to all! I plan to re-learn acrylics this year. I’ve been talking about it for ages, for one thing. For another, I was gifted Starving to Successful, a book about getting into galleries. And I’d love to do large scale work, but probably not in ink.

So! By happy coincidence I followed a link from Art Trader Magazine, and joined this 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge just yesterday, the day before the new year.

Brea the Bird Charmer
2.5″ x 3.5″ ink

Today is Day One and I am snowed in. So, I will not be getting any new paints today. I am instead going to submit this latest delicate flower, Maiden 137, in keeping with my recent fascination with decorative HATS. Made with Copics, my new Hi-Tec-C 0.4 pen and various Microns. (She was almost abandoned due to nose problems – never quite fixed, arrgh!) But I was very happy with the simpler style of the two birds.

Longa Kolo
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, Hi-Tec-C fine liner

This one is from a couple days ago. Longa kolo means “long neck” in Esperanto, (if Google Translate can be trusted). Lots of progress pics . Thanks for dropping in!

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Ink with Attitude. Serious. Attitude.

Blake, and an Evil Mime Queen
Each 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

Blake arrived closely on the heals of his cousin Maureen (seen below). This family much prefers their right profiles. You’d be surprised how plain the other side looks!

The evil mime queen was made for someone who like evil queens. And mimes. And pink with turquoise. And creepy cute stuff. She is maiden #126!(Any future mimes should have instead of this streaky white gel pen, a smooth application of white ink with a brush. Live and learn, and all that!)

Another Maureen
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

One side blog note. I believe I’ve got categories covered. Tags, not so much. For one thing, almost all of my (208!) posts have many of the same tags (Copic markers, pen and ink, illustration). (Which are separate, I think!, from keywords for my SEO widget.) Geez! If you are a person with insight into this tags business, do share.

Thank you for stopping in! Progress pics with attitude, below.

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Maiden of the Birds for Illustration Friday

Maiden of the Birds
5″ x 7″, Copic markers, Micron pens, Uniball Signo gel pen

Submitted for the topic “Tension” at Illustration Friday. That’s Phyllis up there, the sheep bird. And beside her, Jules (pink) and Harold. The little one on the bird feeder is Sybil. It looks calm right now, but Phyllis rules the place with an iron claw. Particularly if someone else has encroached upon what she feels is the proper amount of space for a creature of her stature. It can get a bit tense up there!

The Night City Maiden (2 versions)
5″ x 7″ Copic markers, Micron pens

I intended for this one to have a black background, but I am not sure about the best way to accomplish that. The dark version above has a simple a black background added digitally. Looking at these side by side, it definitely looks better dark, especially with the stars. I suppose a brush would do the best coverage, and I may even have one, and some ink. I hate to think of coloring the background with marker. But brushed ink is likely to warp the paper.  Eeek! If you have any tips, please share!

No progress pics because I did both of these while out of town! (It also explains the color palette, which was limited by what I brought with me!) These are maidens 95 and 96 (but might not be loaded over there yet). Thanks for stopping in!


House in the Crooked Tree for IF

Crooked Tree House, 9″ x 6″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

For “Crooked” at Illustration Friday. I realized that I’ve done a few tree houses so I had to make sure to add new things. Including: a vegetable garden box, a refuse area, a romantic dining room, a beehive, and a tiny tree house growing in a tiny pot. Plus many more things! I also spent more time with the animals.

In ATC news, I’ve been wanting to try some word art, and especially feel-good word art since the news is so ugly, particularly lately. That led to the “Be Kind” ATC below. The second, which is simultaneously awesome and appalling, was made on a lark when someone jokingly said, “What about a unicorn llama with a psychedelic rainbow nightscene background?” I was in a weird mood so I did it. The blacklight idea came at the end.

Be Kind & Blacklight Unicorn Llama
2.5″ x 3.5″ Artist Trading Cards, Copic markers, ink, white gel pen

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Imagination Tree or, Maiden of the Wood

Maiden of the Wood, 8.5″ x 11″ Copic Markers, digital sky

For “Imagination” at Illustration Friday. Have you joined yet? Why not?

This is the Maiden of the Wood, sometimes called the Dreaming One, another daughter of Gaia. One night for this maiden equals one thousand years for us. She makes her bed underground and dreams of magical things while hundreds of human years pass overhead. Often her dreams come to life on the earth just above her slumbering form.

Like the footie socks? I’d like to tell you they were planned all along but no, I tried and tried to do feet. I need to practice feet!  In any case, my favorite bit includes the socks and the underground reading room above them.

Tons of progress pics below (including some close-ups of the final), in case anyone is interested in the way the sketch changed as it went along. I could not get the colors right on the computer – arrgh! – but this is close. I’m not sure I love the greens. I think the underground should be darker. Also may go back and do a trunk design like in some of the sketches. Though more likely I will just move on to the next thing!

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Figure reference photo.

Copic ATCs, Anteater Chameleon Stork Hornbill

Oops, forgot to change the order of creatures in the title. Too late now since the memos have been distributed!

Purple Rhinoceros Hornbill, 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copic markers and fine liners

Blue Stork 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copic markers and fine liners


More tiny Artist Trading Cards. I don’t know how long the enthusiasm will last but that’s ten in two weeks.  It is certainly much less daunting staring at a blank 2.5″ x 3.5″ than an 8″ x 10″.  For one thing, much easier to fill in a background, and I like to do backgrounds.

I have a lot fewer smudging problems since I’ve been using colors other than black for the initial ink. Copic has a fairly limited number of colored fine liners so I use Micron and Prismacolor fine liners, too.


Strange Chameleon 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copic markers and fine liners

Blue Anteater 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copic markers and fine liners

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Thanks for visiting!

Anteater reference photo, Stork reference photo, Rhinoceros Hornbill reference photo



Hornbill and Kingfisher, an Unlikely Pair

Yellow-Billed Hornbill and Stork-Billed Kingfisher, Copic Markers, digital sky

A somewhat smaller than expected Southern Yellow-Billed Hornbill and his best friend, a somewhat larger than expected Stork-Billed Kingfisher. Ari the Hornbill was born in South Africa. Shey the Kingfisher is from Sri Lanka. That they met at all is unprecedented!

Ari was flying northeasterly over the Indian Ocean, and Shey was flying southwesterly over the Indian Ocean, and they both landed in the Seychelles the same week in 2009. Crazy, right? Both natural comedians, they became instant friends and for a short time they performed a Strange Bird comedy show that was a huge hit with the local Red-footed Boobies.

As you may know I have been exploring all manner of exotic creatures at this blog. Most recently it’s the birds in particular that have caught my fancy, and thus today’s drawing. Started with a lot of refinement in pencil then several scans showing the blue .05 multiliner. After that, Copics and .1 and .2 black multiliners. Finally I attempted some highlights with a white Prismacolor pencil, to mixed results. (Still trying to find a white gel pen that works. Not sure about attempting some white acrylic. Hmm!)

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No Masquepen or swirls this week. Crazy! Thank you for stopping by!

Southern Yellow-Billed Hornbill photo reference; Stork-Billed Kingfisher reference.

A Flock of Misfits for Illustration Friday

Flock of Misfits, Copic Markers with Digital Help

She worries over them all, her adopted family. Sometimes they stay just a little while. Some, like Vicente the sleepy fellow to her right (and her common law spouse), have been together since the beginning. Some say Mariella is the oldest bird living. Others say she is immortal. Only one thing is certain: she’ll never tell.

The topic is “Return” for Illustration Friday. I like the idea of a misfit family of birds, though I am not happy with the execution. You’ll see in the progress pics below that the original background had a friskety swirl like many of my recent entries. But the color was too close in tone to the birds, and though I started to darken it, I kept smudging the black ink so I decided to repair the background by replacing it with some digital clouds (one of my few Paint.NET skills!)

And here’s how it went:

Flock of Misfits Sketch

Flock of Misfits Frisket

Flock of Misfits Color 2

Flock of Misfits Color 3

Flock of Misfits for IF Return

Flock of Misfits with Digital Background

I think I have decided I like my illustrations best where I’ve referenced a photo, even if I only use it for the initial sketch. Though I like many of these silly birds, the tallest one didn’t work out quite right and some of the others might have benefited from just a bit of photographic inspiration. Live and learn and all that!

[On the off chance some of you wonder their names: Top row: Jodi, Podi, Bodi, Kodi (sometimes grumpy). Branch 2: Moppet (sometimes ornery), Braenwyn, Quoc, Afri (top), Bobek. Bottom left: Mariella, Vicente, Radhika (the sweet Auntie, everyone’s favorite), Deva. Right branch: Tiki, Fatima.] The font is Gisha.

Thank you as always for visiting! Brutal critiques (within reason) welcome!